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Epoxy Over Copper for Pipe Replacement – A Smart Move

Sadly, pipes are not made to last forever. Usually made of copper, they eventually get cracks and leaks which means it’s time for repair or replacement. Thankfully, many turn to epoxy pipe lining as an alternative.

The many benefits to epoxy pipe lining are hard to ignore. Even in various circumstances, epoxy outperforms traditional replacement with ease. Affordability – Repairing pipes that are leaking is a job that is best suited to a professional contractor. Usually they coat the area of the damage with a binding material and call it a day. However, in 2016 and for a few years now, epoxy pipe lining has been and is a popular choice in place of that binding agent. It is also quite affordable in comparison, almost 50% less in some cases. Of course each situation is different.

More Long-Term Savings – Rather than replacing all the pipes, epoxy pipe lining is more cost-effective. There is a low starting cost, and less disruption. Replacing pipes usually entails huge renovations to include wall and floor removal or even foundation work. This is a mess, and one that can be avoided by choosing epoxy pipe lining which only need one or two points of access.

Gets Rid of Leaks – Most epoxy pipe lining solutions will easily repair leaks within copper pipes. Home owners are often misinformed that complete pipe replacement will do more than a simple epoxy pipe lining, when in fact the lining will extend the life of their pipes, save money and the environment as well. Warranties – Copper pipes usually have just a two-year warranty while epoxy pipe lining has a 10-year warranty. This is because there is always a chance copper pipes will corrode. If epoxy pipe lining is installed right and maintained, water quality and flow is much better. It’s reported that it has a life span of up to 100 years, that’s almost two lifetimes. The peace of mind that one has a structurally sound building is well worth investing in epoxy pipe lining.

Save Time

If the home or commercial property in question will need renovations in regards to pipe replacement or repair, one can rest assured that it will be a mess if full replacement is chosen. Structural removal is necessary and the job will take quite a long time to complete. In a process that requires full access, removal and the placement and adhering of new pipes then restoration of the property one can expect it to be quite the headache.

This is especially true if relocation is required, or employees will lose work and the business owner will have to shut down. Not many can afford a couple months in a different place. This can all be avoided when epoxy pipe lining is chosen. The process for epoxy pipes takes very little time, often less than a week. Once pipes are coated and set, residents and workers can return to their normal routine and use the pipes as normally.

There’s no sense in putting a property in danger to include flooding, mold and mildew, and foundational damage due to a leak. The moment a possible leak is detected it should be reported to a professional company for repair. Epoxy pipe lining is a trench less method that will improve a home or business building in many ways, and allow utility bill savings. It is eco-friendly and affordable, and worth looking into by all.

SEO ROI – The Return On Investment For A Small Business SEO Effort

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

In order to understand the value of SEO, we first need to have an understanding of what SEO is. Without going into the technical details of the SEO process, I offer the following definition:

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the process of getting a website to show up in the top results of a search engine such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo for a meaningful search phrase that will increase traffic to the website. If a website ranks well for a meaningful search phrase, it is considered to be optimized for that search term.

I stress “meaningful search phrase”, because if you optimize for a phrase that nobody will be using in their searches, there is nobody to find you and the SEO process will not deliver any real results. In other words, nothing in equals nothing out. A meaningful phrase is one that has a high potential for being used by the population of searchers when searching the web for a product or service.

Armed with a search phrase, known as a keyword in the business of SEO, which is meaningful, we can now explore the potential of a site optimized for this keyword.

SEO Works For Your Small Business

Your company website is an advertisement for your business. As such, it needs to be seen just like any other form of advertisement in order to be effective. Not only do we want quantity of viewership but also we want quality viewers, ones who are likely to respond to the advertisement once it has been seen.

Unlike many forms of advertising both on and off the web, a website that is optimized will be viewed often and by a highly targeted audience. Because a search user is actively looking for your product or service, they are already in the mindset to buy as long as they can find what they are looking for. The odds of making the sale to this type of ad viewer is already far increased over a viewer of more passive advertising media such as print ads, radio, and television. In passive advertising, the viewer is not looking for the product in the moment and success is only achieved in a small percentage of cases.

The user of a search tool is primed and ready to buy, but this potential buyer has to find your website in order to learn about your business offerings and then ultimately contact you to make a purchase.

Being found through internet searches will directly contribute to your bottom line. E-commerce sites and other online business hybrids with online as well as brick and mortar units understand this very well and invest heavily in SEO and other online marketing. It is vital for their business that they do so. To understand why, let’s look at some of the numbers.

From published academic studies measuring a search user’s behavior and even how their eye moves across the search results page and other industry data, we know that websites that show up on the first page of a search engine will get slightly less than 90% of the clicks. The listings on page 2 account for nearly 10% of the remaining total clicks, leaving less than 1% for pages 3 and beyond. In other words, most of the action is on page 1. Over 60% of the action is in the top 3 listings. 42% goes to the #1 spot alone.

While companies that earn all or a significant portion of their revenue from the web understand the benefits of SEO, most small businesses fail to utilize this tool to promote their business. You don’t have to be a big national company or be an e-commerce company to benefit from an SEO effort. For a modest cost, small businesses can conduct their own SEO campaigns which will reap a positive Return On their Investment. To understand how small business can benefit, let’s go through a real world example:

Doing The Math

Example: A small business selling pipe fittings optimized for the keyword “Steel Pipe Fittings”.

Google tells us that on average there are 22,200 searches per month for the keyword “Steel Pipe Fittings”. Using the 42% figure for the #1 spot, the top site would expect around 9,324 visits to their web site each month.

(22,220 x 0.42) = 9,324. for this search term

Out of these 9,324 visitors, some number of these visitors will make a purchase. The rate at which a visit to a web site converts to a purchase is called the conversion rate. Conversion rates vary by industry, but on the low end of most industry conversion rates a 1.5% rate is safe assumption.

9,324 visitors converting at 1.5% will yield 140 new purchases from customers who just found your company and your product mostly likely for the first time. Why first time customers? If the customer was already aware of your business and has done business with you, they most likely would not be searching for you again on the web using “Steel Pipe Fittings” term. They will already know you.

A small business SEO campaign in the year 2011 will cost about $300/month to conduct. Some firms may charge less and some firms will charge more. But for $300/month, your company can receive competent SEO services that will positively affect your rankings in search engines and your bottom line.

Profit levels vary quite a bit from product to product and company to company so I can’t come up with a one size fits all ROI number in this article. However we can calculate at what profit does the SEO result above break even. For this example, $300 per month / 140 new customers = $2.14 per customer break even. In other words, if your average profit per new customer is $2.14 or above, you have a positive ROI on this SEO effort. Most businesses are likely to have a higher profit than this example, thus the ROI will be extremely higher.

Most likely the ROI on this example will be higher than calculated. Consider that once this customer has found you, purchased from you and is satisfied with this result, they may come back to you. Your SEO effort will result in future sales from this new customer. Add in the possibility that this customer may also give you word of mouth referrals as well and the ROI pushes higher.

The ROI will be even higher if you rank high on multiple keywords. Most small business SEO programs at the $300 level offer optimization for multiple keywords. Let’s further assume in this example the website also reached #1 rank for “Brass Pipe Fittings” and “Iron Pipe Fittings”:

“Brass Pipe Fittings” with 4,400 monthly searches would yield 28 more customers each month. Similarly “Iron Pipe Fittings” with 9,900 searches will add, using the same formula as above, 62 more customers. In total we get 230 new customers with these three keywords. Break even is now at $1.30. Add more keywords in top ranks and the ROI goes even higher.

To be fair, you will have to invest in the optimization of your website for several months before you attain high rankings for your keywords. Thus in the short run you may have zero ROI at the start, but as the campaign runs over time, the results will improve and will move the ROI up. In short you have to “invest” for the future results.

In the above analysis I used conservative numbers. For example I could have used the key word “Pipe Fittings” with 246,000 searches per month which yields over 1,500 new customers per the formula above. It may be possible to rank at #1 for “Pipe Fittings”, but this would be a more difficult task taking a longer time period to achieve. The 42% rate of clicks for the #1 position may be low. Some other studies say it is as high as 59% which would yield even higher ROI. The point is that even if you use conservative assumptions, it is easy to demonstrate a positive ROI on your SEO efforts.

The Bottom Line

SEO works for small businesses by bringing more visitors to your web site. Your results will vary based on the nature of your business and your industry, but in almost all cases there is a positive return on investment when the right keywords are chosen and your website contains content that is attractive to your potential buyers. To get a more detailed analysis of your situation, you can contact a SEO professional.

Stainless Steel Pipe Prices – A New Market Flood?

Plumbing has come a long way in the last 2,000 years. Yes, Ancient Romans are famous for their aqueducts, surely one of mankind’s greatest inventions, but what we must also remember is that those same Romans were the first civilization to transport water with the use of lead, a toxin. Now, as it turns out, the Romans lucked out by having high calcium content in their drinking water, which coated their pipes and kept them safe (the same could not be said about their lead cookware, unfortunately).

Since that time, humans have gone through many different materials to convey their water. Wood was used in Britain and Early America, for example. Concrete has been used, a material that Romans would have approved of. In modern America, copper has long been the choice, but with the ever-rising cost of copper, that may be finally changing.

Enter stainless steel, an American classic.

More and more, homeowners, businesses, and contractors alike are heading to steel pipe supply companies for their water conveyance needs. Surprisingly, they cite cost, among many other things, as one of their main reasons for changing. Stainless steel pipe prices may not be the same as copper, but as any contractor will tell you, many factors go into the final cost of a product.

First off, steel pipe is lighter than copper, so transporting it is cheaper. The initial savings here may be minimal, but for contractors who make repeated trips to steel pipe supply companies, this means big savings. Contractors will also be quick to note that stainless steel pipe is less likely to be stolen by worksite thieves, who have become a real nuisance to anyone installing copper in the last decade or so.

Home and business owners will also be happy to know that stainless steel pipe prices also lessen over the long term, for many reasons. Stainless steel pipe requires no coating, yet it resists both internal and external corrosion, meaning that it will last longer and require fewer repairs and replacements.

Stainless steel’s sturdiness also means that it can be laid over longer stretches than copper, a benefit of particular interest to owners of larger buildings. Longer pipes mean fewer connections, and fewer connections mean less leaking and less overall maintenance.

Stainless steel also has a lower coefficient of friction, meaning it yields higher water pressure at the point of use and is safer for drinking, with any leaching chemicals well below recommended limits.

And if these cost-reducing and health factors aren’t enough, business and home owners will be happy to know that stainless steel is completely recyclable material. After its use, or if a piece needs to be replaced, the old pipe may be sold to recoup some of its original cost.

Whether stainless steel pipes will begin flooding the market in the years to come is yet to be seen. However, one thing is certain: for copper, the pressure is on.